Sparkle Book Tours is having a sale!

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The new year is around the corner and Sparkle is excited to launch our two new sales for authors.

With our New Year Sale authors will receive 15% off any tour booked between Nov 24 and Dec 31. Great way to kick off the new year. Simply use the coupon code: 2015Sale when booking. 

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And before you know it Valentine’s Day is here and you need to get that delicious romance out to the readers, a Valentine Book Tour is just the answer. Book Now until Jan 31 and you will get 20% off your tour. Just use our coupon code: Redhot when booking. Don’t delay.
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Tessas’s Holiday Temptation by Ella Jade

 


Genre: Erotic Romance

Let the temptation begin.  Tessa's Holiday Temptation

Chase Carlisle has never been so taken by any other woman, but when he met Tessa everything changed. Falling in love with the younger, sexy vixen was easy. She tempted him in ways he couldn’t resist. Now that she was his he’d do anything to keep her happy, safe, and fulfilled.

Tessa Burke had been mesmerized by Chase almost from the moment she saw the attractive, successful, older man. He helped her during a low point in her life. Their whirlwind romance was just beginning and life couldn’t be better. When Chase surprises her with a tropical, holiday getaway she can’t wait to spend four romantic days alone with him.

Promises of sun, sand, and swimming are in store for the couple, but will they ever make it out of the luxurious villa? This vacation may prove to be their hottest Christmas ever.

A short story featuring Tessa and Chase from Tessa’s Temptation. Both books stand alone, but to see how the couple started their journey check out their full length novel available now.

Contains adult content and graphic sexual situations

This is a fun, sexy, festive tale to get you in the holiday spirit. No angst or drama. Just sexy times before I introduce you to book two in the Temptress Series where I can’t promise there won’t be angst or drama.

Approximately 10,000 words.

~Excerpt~

Tessa stopped to stare at him. He was lost in thought, probably making a business deal on some new property. He was shirtless, just the way she liked him. His tight, toned abs disappeared into his navy blue board shorts. She followed the light dusting of hair that created the sexiest line down his rock hard stomach. His hair was a perfect mess, not at all his usual manicured and styled she had become accustomed to. Vacation suited him. He hadn’t bothered to shave either, giving him a rough edge on this late morning.

Totally hot and doable…

“Dragging this morning?” He grinned, but still hadn’t caught a glimpse of her. “Maybe I shouldn’t have–” He stopped when he lifted his head and made eye contact with her through his sunglasses. “Holy crap.” He flipped the sunglasses on his head to get a better look at her.

“What?”

“Where’s the rest of that bathing suit?” He dropped his phone into the beach bag, never taking his eyes away from her body.

“Do you like it?” She spun around, making sure to shake her backside at him before turning to face him.

“There isn’t much to like.” He scrubbed his hand over his stubble covered jaw.

“Oh.” Disappointment filled her when she thought he wasn’t pleased with her appearance. “I thought you’d like it.”

“I love it.” He reached for her hand. “I just meant that, well, you’re practically naked and…”

“This has to do with your possessiveness of my body and your need to censor the thoughts of every guy I come in contact with?”

“Something like that.” He continued to gawk at her. “You can’t go out in public like that.”

“We’re not going in public.” She nodded toward the ocean. “I thought it was a private beach.”

“This one is, but if we were to vacation at a resort I think I’d have to approve your pool attire.”

“Approve?” She fisted her hand on her hip. “Do I need to remind you who gets the final say on what I wear?”

“Let me rephrase that.” He sighed. “If I don’t get a say in what you wear when we’re at a pool or a public beach, I could very well serve fifteen to life.”

Buy Links:  Amazon 

~About the Author~ 

Ella Jade has been writing for as long as she can remember. As a child, she often had a notebook and pen with her, and now as an adult, the laptop is never far. The plots and dialogue have always played out in her head, but she never knew what to do with them. That all changed when she discovered the eBook industry. She started penning novels at a rapid pace and now she can’t be stopped.

Ella resides in New Jersey with her husband and two boys. When she’s not chasing after her kids, she’s busy creating sexy, domineering men and the strong women who know how to challenge them in and out of the bedroom. She hopes you’ll get lost in her words.

She loves connecting with readers.
Author Links:  Facebook   Twitter    Website

~Giveaway~

Ella is giving away a Holiday Themed Swag Pack to one lucky winner. US only!
For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.

 

 


 


Excerpt and giveaway for Reckless Attraction

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Every sin has a price… AmbrielleKirk_RecklessAttraction_SeptCopy

My estranged husband, Rich, is a habitual cheater. He says he has a problem with commitment because he’s messed up in the head. I’ve called him on it more than once. No one likes a liar, no matter how handsome he is. He says he wants me to have casual sex with another man to even the score. I don’t need his free pass. I can do bad by myself. I already have…I spend my days working at the diner and my nights in an adult chatroom with a sexy stranger, keeping my body at a distance and my heart safe.

Rich’s biggest mistake didn’t occur when he stepped out on me. His undoing was inviting Trevor Stanley into our bed. Trevor is cocky, arrogant, and holds nothing back, but when he looks at me I’m drawn to him like light is to dark. Pending my divorce, Trevor seems to think I’m fair game and leaves more than his sex-laced advances on the table. He’s way too tempting and doesn’t seem to think it matters that my soon to be ex-husband is his boss.

All I really want is a no-strings-attached fling. My ticket arrives when I receive an anonymous invite to the Hotel Beaudelaire’s exclusive Den of Sin Winter Ball.

~Excerpt~

I frowned. “That’s because I told him to. I’m going to move forward whether you like it or not. I don’t want this marriage and neither do you.”

“Camille, that doesn’t mean that I don’t want you period,” he stated.

I passed Rich on the steps, leaving him standing there. It didn’t take long for him to venture behind me down the driveway to my car. His shiny white Jaguar was parked conveniently behind mine, so I needed to say something to get him off my back.

“I feel like I’m being harassed by you, Rich. Do you extend this type of treatment to the other women in your life?”

I unlocked the door using the key fob and before I could touch the handle, Rich had already opened it for me.

“No, I don’t,” he said in almost a whisper. “But I know you won’t believe me.”

The nerve of him. What made him think that I would fall for that lie when for months he’d been going behind my back fulfilling his lusty desires with women like he was enjoying an endless supply of skittles?

“You’re right. I won’t.” I tossed my bags in the passenger seat and slipped in the driver’s side. “Now what you can believe is that I will lose my job if I’m late. I’m sure you don’t care about wasting time, but I bet you care about that pretty piece of metal blocking my way.”

I glanced in my rearview mirror at his Jag, started my car, and revved the motor.

“I’m sorry about everything, Camille.” His hand was on the inside handle of the car door. “I wish you could understand. Venture on my side of the fence for a moment. I got caught up. I had my…condition under control and slipped one time and messed everything up.”

I caught his wandering gaze and held it. “And when you say venture on your side…?”

“I think you should…” He visibly swallowed. “I want you to sleep with someone else. Maybe you’ll understand when I tell you there’s a difference between the casual sex I shared with women but had no intentions of ever seeing again and the sex that we had in our marriage bed.”

I shook my head and held up my hand to stop the bullshit pouring from his mouth. “I can’t with you right now. Not today. Not ever.” Irritation ran through my heated veins. “Two wrongs don’t make a right and it’s not about what you want. Haven’t you gotten that through your brain yet?”

As I looked into his sea-blue eyes, seeing them swirling with confusion and regret, it dawned on me that he was still self-conceited in his ways. Was the free pass that he so blindly offered for my benefit or for his? What was he really trying to prove?

His gaze narrowed on me. “I never want you to think that you aren’t good enough because you are. You were a good girl when I met you, Camille. I messed that up for you. And I’m sorry that I wasn’t able to control myself. When you have some time, think about it, okay?”
~About the Author~

Multi-published author Ambrielle Kirk writes diverse, edgy and seductive romance: multicultural erotic, paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. As a bestselling author in several sub-genres, she’s 2012 Swirl Award winner and 2014 Romance of Novel Excellence (RONE) Award nominee in the paranormal categories. She’s a PAN member of RWA, FF&P RWA, and co-founder and treasurer of CIM RWA.
She loves weaving tales where undying love is the main element. When she’s not writing, she’s plotting. When she’s not writing or plotting, she’s reading. Her reading and writing tastes varies between anything from alpha bad boys and billionaires to vampires and shifters. She’s a thirty-something year old wife, mother, book hoarder, 90s music fan, earl grey tea drinker, dark roast coffee fiend, platform and stiletto shoe collector, Keurig lover, and martial arts/action movie fanatic.

Author Links: Site      Blog     FacebookPersonal Page     FacebookFan Page     Twitter

~Giveaway~

Ambrielle is giving away one $10.00 Gift Card to either Amazon, B&N, or All Romance eBooks (winners choice) to one lucky winner.
For a chance to win please fill out the rafflecopter below.

 

Character Bio’s for The Soul Thief

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The Soul Thief (The Angel of Death Series #1)

by Majanka Verstraete

Publisher: Booktrope

Published: November 11, 2014

Genre: YA, Paranormal

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When sixteen-year-old Riley is injured in a car crash and sees a girl stealing a boy’s soul, she’s convinced she’s hallucinating. But when she sees the same girl at the hospital later, she knows she wasn’t dreaming. That’s when Riley learns her secret heritage and who she really is: a halfling Angel of Death.

Riley must come to terms with her new reality and supernatural abilities, but before she can do this, girls her age start dying in mysterious circumstances. It’s up to Riley to figure out why, what the innocent victims have in common, and what she can do to stop them.

Goodreads

Amazon | Kindle | Barnes & Noble

Character Bios

Riley – At age sixteen, Riley has always led a normal life. That is, until she’s stuck in a car crash, meets an Angel of Death and finds out she’s a Halfling Angel herself. Now charged with having to escort the souls of the deceased to the afterlife, finding a way to control her new powers, and somehow survive high school, she has a lot on her plate. She’s brave and supportive of her friends. She loves spending time with them, and with her family, especially her little sister Cassie. She also hangs out a lot at her Grandma’s shop, Herbie’s Herbs. She’s intelligent and has a great sense of humor, but she’s struggling with her new life and what it means to be a Halfling Angel.

Leander – An immortal Guardian, he’s the Angel set up with the task to help Riley control her new powers. The Council is wary of Halflings ever since an incident with a Halfling named Darius, now over half a millennium ago, so Leander is always watching out for Riley and making sure the Council doesn’t start seeing her as a threat. He’s struggling with his feelings for Seraphyn, an angel he’s been in love with for centuries. He’s loyal and caring, and taking his job very seriously.

Katie – Katie is one of Riley’s best friends. She’s flirty, spontaneous and outgoing, and has a positive view on life. She’s all about emotions, about doing what you want whenever you want it, and about seizing the day – carpe diem. Whenever a problem presents itself, she faces it head on, without hesitating.

Michelle – Riley’s other best friend, Michelle is a self-proclaimed geek with a love for Lord of the Rings, video games, studying, and Star Wars. Considering how their personalities clash, it’s remarkable Katie and Michelle get along at all. Michelle would do anything for her friends. She has a logical mind and knows how to stay calm in crisis situations.

Craig – The fourth member of their best friend cycle, Craig is very intuitive. He knows something is wrong before his friends even mention it to him. He’s always there for his friends, and when you don’t want to get judged, he’s the person to talk to. Sometimes he struggles with being gay – not because he’s confused about that, but because not everyone has accepted that part of him yet. But his friends and parents are okay with it, and he’s thankful because of that.

Herbie – Riley’s Grandma, Herbie, owns a shop called Herbie’s Herbs. She’s also a witch, and the only one who knew what Riley truly is, but she never told her. Riley loves her Gran, but this betrayal stung a lot and has hurt their relationship. Herbie is always ready t to help though, be it with spells or just pep talks.

About the Author

majanka

 

Majanka Verstraete begged her Mom to teach her how to read while she was still in kindergarten. By the time she finished fifth grade, she had read through the entire children’s section of her hometown library.

She wrote her first story when she was seven years old, and hasn’t stopped writing since. With an imagination that never sleeps, and hundreds of possible book characters screaming for her attention, writing is more than a passion for her.

She writes about all things supernatural for children of all ages. She’s tried to write contemporary novels before, but something paranormal always manages to crawl in.

Majanka is currently studying for her Master of Laws degree, and hopes one day to be able to combine her passions for law and writing. When she’s not writing, reading or studying, she likes watching “The Vampire Diaries” and “Game of Thrones,” spending time with her friends, or playing “World of Warcraft.”

Tour Schedule

November 12

Write Away Bliss – Schedule / Excerpt

The Musings of a Book Addict – Review

Suzy Turner, Author – Author Interview

The Best Books Ever – Character Bio, Dreamcast, Excerpt

November 13

Country Book Bumpkin – Review, Soundtrack, Excerpt

Reese’s Reviews – Review, Character Bio, Dreamcast

Pinky’s Favorite Reads – Top Ten, Excerpt

November 14

Indy Book Fairy – Review, Excerpt

Kimber Leigh Writes – Top Ten, Excerpt

Here is What I Read – Author Interview, Dreamcast, Soundtrack, Excerpt

Writing Belle – Character Bios

November 15

A Book Paradise – Author Interview, Soundtrack, Excerpt

Endless Reading – Review, Excerpt

The Literary Melting Pot – Review

November 16

Roxy’s Reviews – Review, Character Bios, Top Ten

Real Talk, Book Talk – Dreamcast, Excerpt

Becca Anne’s Book Reviews – Review, Character Bio, Dreamcast

Nerd Girl Official – Excerpt

November 17

Deal Sharing Aunt – Author Interview, Top Ten, Excerpt

Star Shadow Blog – Character Bio, Dreamcast, Soundtrack

Dystopia Capitol – Review

November 18

Kristy Centro – Character Bios

Whispered Thoughts – Character Bios, Excerpt, Soundtrack

Little Hyuts Reviews – Dreamcast

November 19

Step Into Fiction – Review, Excerpt

Behind the Pages – Author Interview, Dreamcast, Excerpt

This Redhead Loves Books – Review, Excerpt

The Avid Reader – Soundtrack, Character Bios

November 20

Tracy’s Nook – Review, Character Interview

The Pleasure of Reading – Excerpt

Bex n Books – Character Bios

Becky’s Barmy Book Blog – Top Ten, Excerpt

November 21

Relaxed Reads – Dreamcast

Renee Entress’s Blog – Review

Books and Friendz – Character Bio, Excerpt

Pretty in Fiction – Top Ten, Excerpt

Kat’s Book Promotions – Dreamcast

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Excerpt and giveaway for Vampire in Paradise

Vampire in Paradise

Deadly Angels Series Book 5

Sandra Hill

Vampire in Paradise Banner 851 x 315

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Avon/Harper Collins

Date of Publication: 11/25/2014

ISBN: 9780062210487

Number of pages: 352

Book Description: fghbvc

It’s been centuries since the Norseman Sigurd Sigurdsson was turned into a Vangel-a Viking Vampire Angel-as punishment for his sin of envy, but he’s still getting the hang of having fangs that get in the way when seducing women. Slaying demon vampires known as Lucipires and using his healing gifts as a cancer research doctor, Sigurd is sent to Florida’s Grand Keys Island as a resident physician where he encounters the most sinfully beautiful woman.

The only hope Marisa Lopez has of curing her five-year-old daughter of is a pricey experimental procedure. When she meets the good-looking doctor, Marisa is speechless. Then Sigurd tells her he believes he can help her daughter. Could this too-hot-to resist Viking doctor be an angel of some sort sent to bring a miracle for her daughter? Or is he just a vampire bent on breaking Marisa’s heart?

Available at Amazon  BN  Avon Romance

Add it to Your Goodreads List

PROLOGUE

The Norselands, A.D. 850…

Only the strongest survived in that harsh land…

Sigurd Sigurdsson sat near the high table of King Haakon’s yule feast sipping at the fine ale from his own jewel-encrusted, silver horn. (Many of those “above the salt,” held gold vessels, he noted.) Tuns of ale and rare Frisian wine flowed. (His mead tasted rather weak, but mayhap that was his imagination.)

Favored guests at the royal feast (He was mildly favored.) had their choice amongst spit-roasted wild boar, venison and mushroom stew, game birds stuffed with chestnuts, a swordfish the size of a small longboat, eels swimming in spiced cream sauce, and all the vegetable side dishes one could imagine, including the hated neeps. (Hated by Sigurd, leastways. He had a particular antipathy to turnips due to some youthling insanity to determine which lackwit could eat the most of the root vegetables without vomiting, or falling over dead as a stump. He lost.) Honey oak cakes and dried fruit trifles finished off the meal for those not filled to overflowing. (Peaches, on the other hand, were fruit of the gods, in Sigurd’s opinion.) Entertainment was provided by a quartet of lute players who could scarce be heard over the animated conversation and laughter. (Which was just as well; they harmonized like a herd of screech owls. Again, in Sigurd’s opinion.) Good cheer abounded. (Except for…)

In the midst of the loud, joyous celebration, Sigurd’s demeanor was quiet and sad.

But that was nothing new. Sigurd had been known as a dark, brooding Viking for many of his twenty and seven years. Darker and more brooding as the years marched on. And he wasn’t even drukkinn.

Some said the reason for Sigurd’s discontent was the conflict betwixt two warring sides of his nature. A fierce warrior in battle and, at the same time, a noted physician with innate healing skills inherited from and homed by his grandmother afore her passing to the Other World when he’d been a boyling.

Sigurd knew better. He had a secret sickness of the soul, and its name was Envy. Never truly happy, never satisfied, he always wanted what he didn’t have, whether it be a chest of gold, the latest, fastest longship, a prosperous estate, the finest sword. A woman. And he did whatever necessary to attain that new best thing. Whatever.

‘Twas like a gigantic worm he’d found years past in the bowels of a dying man. Egolf the Farrier had been a giant of a burly man in his prime, but at his death when he was only thirty he’d been little more than a skeleton with no fat and scant flesh to cover his bones. The malady had no doubt started years before innocently enough with a tiny worm in an apple or some spoiled meat, but over the years, attached to his innards like a ravenous babe, the slimy creature devoured the food Egolf ate, and Egolf had a huge appetite, in essence starving the man to death.

“Sig, my friend!” A giant hand clapped him on the shoulder and his close friend and hersir Bertim sat down on the bench beside him. Beneath his massive red beard, the Irish Viking’s face was florid with drink. “You are sitting upright,” Bertim accused him. “Is that still your first horn of ale that you nurse like a babe at teat?

“What an image!” Sigurd shook his head with amusement. “I must needs stay sober. The queen may yet produce a new son for Haakon this night.”

“Her timing is inconvenient, but then a yule child brings good luck.” Bertim raised his bushy eyebrows as a sudden thought struck him. “Dost act as midwife now?”

“When it is the king’s whelp, I do.”

Bertim laughed heartily.

“In truth, Elfrida has been laboring for a day and night so far with no result. The delivery promises to be difficult.”

Bertim nodded. ‘Twas the way of nature. “What has the king promised you for your assistance?”

“Naught much,” Sigurd replied with a shrug. “Friendship. Lot of good that friendship does me, though. Dost notice I am not sitting at the high table?”

“And yet that arse licker Svein One-Ear sits near the king,” Bertim commiserated.

I should be up there. Ah, well. Mayhap if I do the king this one new favor… He shrugged. The seating was a small slight, actually.

A serving maid interrupted them, leaning over the table to replenish their beverages. The way her breasts brushed against each of their shoulders gave clear signal that she would be a willing bed partner to either or both of them. Bertim was too far gone in the drink and too fearful of the wrath of his new Norse wife, and Sigurd lacked interest in services offered so easily. The maid shrugged and made her way to the next hopefully-willing male.

Picking up on their conversation, Bertim said, “The friendship of a king is naught to minimize. It can be priceless.”

Sigurd had reason to recall Bertim’s ale-wise words later that night, rather in the wee hours of the morning, when Queen Elfrida, despite Sigurd’s best efforts, delivered a deformed, puny babe, a girl, and Sigurd was asked by the king, in the name of friendship, to take the infant away and cut off its whispery breath.

It was not an unusual request. In this harsh land, only the strongest survived, and the practice of infanticide was ofttimes an act of kindness. Or so the beleaguered parents believed.

But Sigurd did not fulfill the king’s wishes. Leastways, not right away. Visions of another night and another life and death decision plagued Sigurd as he carried the swaddled babe in his arms, its cries little more than the mewls of a weakling kitten.

Despite his full-length, hooded fur cloak, the wind and cold air combined to chill him to the bone. He tucked the babe closer to his chest and imagined he felt her heart beat steady and true. Approaching the cliff that hung over the angry sea, where he would drop the child after pinching its tiny nose, Sigurd kept murmuring, “’Tis for the best, ‘tis for the best.” His eyes misted over, but that was probably due to the snow flakes that began to flutter heavily in front of him.

He would do as the king asked. Of course he would. But betimes it was not such a gift having royal friends.

Just then, he heard a loud voice bellow, “SIGURD! Halt! At once!”

He turned to see the strangest thing. Despite the blistering cold, a dark-haired man wearing naught but a long, white, rope-belted gown in the Arab style approached with hands extended.

Without words, Sigurd knew that the man wanted the child. To his surprise, Sigurd handed over the bundle that carried his body heat to the stranger.

“Take her, Caleb,” the man said to yet another man in a white robe who appeared at his side.

“Yes, Michael.” Caleb bowed as if the first man were a king or some important personage.

More kings! That is all I need!

The Michael person passed the no-longer crying infant to Caleb, who enfolded the babe in what appeared to be wings, but was probably a white fur cloak, and walked off, disappearing into the now heavy snowfall.

“Will you kill the child?” Sigurd asked, realizing for the first time that he might not have been able to do it himself. Not this time.

“Viking, will you never learn?” Michael asked.

He said “Viking” as if it were a bad word. Sigurd was too stunned by this tableau to be affronted.

“Who are you? What are you?” Sigurd asked as he noticed the massive white wings spreading out behind the man.

“Michael. An archangel.”

Sigurd had heard of angels before and seen images on wall paintings in a Byzantium church. “Did you say arse angel?”

“You know I did not. Thou art a fool.”

No sense of humor at all. Sigurd assumed that an archangel was a special angel. “Am I dead?”

“Not yet.”

That did not sound promising. “But soon?”

“Sooner than thou could imagine,” he said without the least bit of sympathy.

Can I fight him? Somehow, Sigurd did not think that was possible.

“You are a grave sinner, Sigurd.”

He knows my name. “That I freely admit.”

“And yet you do not repent. And yet you would have taken another life tonight.”

“Another?” Sigurd inquired, although he knew for a certainty what Michael referred to, and it was not some enemy he had covered with sword dew in righteous battle. But how could the man…rather angel… possibly know what had been Sigurd’s closely held secret all these years. No one else knew.

“There are no secrets, Viking,” Michael informed him.

Holy Thor! Now he is reading my mind!

Before Sigurd could reply, the snow betwixt them swirled, then cleared to reveal a picture of himself as a boyling of ten years or so bent over his little ailing brother Aslak, a five-year-old of immense beauty, even for a male child. Pale white hair, perfect features, a bubbling, happy personality. Everyone loved Aslak, and Aslak loved everyone in return.

Sigurd had hated his little brother, despite the fact that Aslak followed him about like an adoring puppy. Aslak was everything that Sigurd was not. Sigurd’s dull brown hair only turned blond when he got older and the tresses had been sun-bleached on sea voyages. His facial features had been marred by the pimples of a youthling. He had an unpleasant, betimes surly, disposition. In other words, unlikable, or so Sigurd had thought.

Being the youngest of the Sigurdsson boys, before Aslak, and the only one still home, Sigurd had been more aware of his little brother’s overwhelming popularity. In truth, in later years, when others referred to the seven Sigurdsson brothers, they failed to recall that at one time there had been eight.

Sigurd blinked and peered again into the swirling snow picture of that fateful night. His little brother’s wheezing lungs laboring for life through the long pre-dawn hours. His mother Lady Elsa had begged Sigurd to help because, even at ten years of age, he had healing hands. Sigurd had pretended to help, but in truth he had not employed the steam tenting or special herb teas that might have cured his dying brother. Aslak had died, of course, and Sigurd knew it was his fault.

Looking up to see Michael staring at him, Sigurd said, “I was jealous.”

Michael shook his head. “Nay, jealousy is a less than admirable trait. Your sin was envy.”

“Envy. Jealousy. Same thing.”

“Lackwit!” Michael declared, his wings bristling wide like a riled goose. “Jealousy is a foolish emotion, but envy destroys the peace of the soul. When was the last time you were at peace, Viking?”

Sigurd thought for a long moment. “Never, that I recall.”

“Envy stirs hatred in a person, causing one to wish evil on another. That was certainly the case with your brother Aslak. And with so many others you have maligned or injured over the years.”

Sigurd hung his head. ‘Twas true.

“Envy causes a person to engage in immoderate quests for wealth or power or relationships that betimes defy loyalty and justice.”

Sigurd nodded. The archangel was painting a clear picture of him and his sorry life.

“The worst thing is that you were given a treasured talent. The gift of healing. Much like the Apostle Luke. But you have disdained it. Abused it. And failed to nourish it for a greater good.”

“An apostle?” Sigurd was not a Christian, but he was familiar with tales from their Bible. “You would have me be as pure as an apostle? I am a Viking.”

“Idiots! I am forced to work with idiots.” Michael rolled his eyes. “Nay, no one expects purity from such as you. Enough! For your grave sins, and those of your six brothers…in fact, all the Vikings as a whole…the Lord is sorely disappointed. You must be punished. In the future, centuries from now, there will be no Viking nation, as such. Thus sayeth the Lord,” Michael pronounced. “And as for you Sigurdsson miscreants…your time on earth is measured.”

“By death?”

Michael nodded. “Thou art already dead inside, Sigurd. Now your body will be, as well.”

So be it. It was a fate all men must face, though he had not expected it to come so soon. “You mention my brothers. They will die, too?”

“They will. If they have not already passed.”

Seven brothers dying in the same year? This was the fodder of sagas. Skalds would be speaking of them forever more. “Will I be going to Valhalla, or the Christian heaven, or that other place?” He shivered inwardly at the thought of that latter, fiery fate.

“None of those. You are being given a second chance.”

“To live?” This was good news.

Michael shook his head. “To die and come back to serve your Heavenly Father in a new role.”

“As an angel?” Sigurd asked with incredulity.

“Hardly,” Michael scoffed. “Well, actually, you would be a vangel. A Viking vampire angel put back on earth to fight Satan’s demon vampires, Lucipires. For seven hundred years, your penance would be to redeem your sins by serving in God’s army under my mentorship.”

Sigurd could tell that Michael wasn’t very happy with that mentorship role, but he could not dwell on that. It was the amazing ideas the archangel was putting forth.

“Do you agree?” Michael asked.

Huh? What choice did he have? The fires of hell, or centuries of living as some kind of soldier. “I agree, but what exactly is a vampire?”

He soon found out. With a raised hand, Michael pointed a finger at Sigurd and unimaginable pain wracked his body, including his mouth where the jaw bones seemed to crack and realign themselves, emerging with fangs, like a wolf. He fell to his knees as his shoulder blades also seem to explode as if struck with a broadsword.

“Fangs? Was that necessary?” he gasped, glancing upward at the celestial being whose arms were folded across his chest, staring down at him.

“You’ll need them for sucking blood.”

“From what?”

“What do you think? From a peach? Idiot! Fom people…or demons.”

“What? Eeew!” He expects me to drink blood? From living persons? Or demons? I do not know about this bargain.

“Thou can still change thy mind, Viking,” Michael said.

Reading my mind again! Damn! “And go to hell?”

“Thou sayest it.”

Sigurd thought about negotiating with the angel, but knew instinctively that it would do no good. He nodded. “It will be as you say.”

Moments later, when the pain subsided somewhat, the angel raised him up and studied him with icy contempt, or was it pity? “Go! And do better this time, vangel.”

On those words, Sigurd fell backwards and over the cliff. Falling, falling, falling toward the black, roiling sea. He discovered in that instant that there was one thing a vangel didn’t have. Wings.

*****

CHAPTER ONE

Florida, 2014

Sometimes life throws you a life line, sometimes a lead sinker…

No one watching Marisa Lopez emerge from the medical center in downtown Miami would have guessed that she’d just been delivered a death blow. Not for herself, but for her five-year-old daughter Isobel.

Marisa had become a master at hiding her emotions. When she’d found out she was pregnant midway through her junior year at Florida State and her scumbag boyfriend Chip Dougherty skipped campus faster than his two hundred dollar running shoes could carry him. When her hopes for a career in physical therapy went down the tubes. When she’d found out two years ago that her sweet baby girl had an inoperable brain tumor. When the blasted tumor kept growing, and Izzie got sicker and sicker. When Marisa had lost her third job in a row because of missing so many days for Izzie’s appointments. And now…well, she refused to break down now either, not where others could see.

And there were people watching. Looking like a young Sophia Loren, not to mention being five-ten in her three-inch heels, she often got double takes, and the occasional wolf whistle. And she knew how to work it, especially when tips were involved at The Palms Health Spa where she was now employed as a certified massage therapist, as well as the Salsa bar where she worked nights at a second job. Was she burning the candle at both ends? Hell, yes. She wished she could do more.

Slinging her knock-off Coach bag over one shoulder, she donned a pair of oversized, fake Dior sunglasses. Her scoop-necked, white silk blouse was tucked into a black pencil skirt, belted at her small waist with a counterfeit, red Gucci belt. Walking briskly on pleather Jimmy Choos, she made her way down the street to her car parked on a side street…a ten-year-old Ford Focus. Not quite the vehicle to go with her seemingly expensive attire, a carefully manufactured image. Little did folks know that hidden in her parents’ garage was a fortune in counterfeit and knock-off items, from Rolex watches to Victoria’s Secret lingerie, thanks to her jailbird brother Steve. A fortune that could not be tapped because someone besides her brother would end up in jail. Probably me, considering the bad luck cloud that seems to be hanging over my head.

It wasn’t against the law to wear the stuff, just so long as she didn’t sell it. To her shame, she’d been tempted on more than one occasion this past year to do just that. Desperation trumps morality. So far, she hadn’t succumbed, though all her friends knew where to come when they needed something “special.”

Her parents had no idea what was in the green-lidded bins that had been taped shut with duct tape. They probably thought it was Steve’s clothes and other worldly goods. Hah!

Once inside her car, with the air conditioner on full blast, Marisa put her forehead on the steering wheel and wept. Soul searing sobs and gasps for breath as she cried out her misery. Marisa knew that she had to get it all out before she went home where she would have to pretend optimism before Izzie, who was way too perceptive for her age. Marisa’s parents, on the other hand, would need to know the prognosis. They would be crushed, as she was.

A short time later, by mid afternoon, with her emotions under control and her makeup retouched, Marisa walked up the sidewalk to her parents’ house. She noticed that the Lopez Plumbing van wasn’t in the driveway; so, her father must still be at work. Good. Marisa didn’t need the double whammy of both parents’ reaction to the latest news. One at a time would be easier.

Marisa had moved into her parents’ house, actually the apartment over the infamous garage, after Izzie’s initial diagnosis two years ago…to save money and take advantage of her parents’ generous offer to baby sit while Marisa worked. Her older brother Steve, who had been the apartment’s prior occupant, was already in jail by that time, serving a two to six for armed robbery. The idiot had carried an old boy scout knife in his pocket when he’d stolen the cash register receipts at the Seven Eleven. Ironically, he’d never been nabbed for selling counterfeit goods…his side job, so to speak.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t Steve’s first stint in the slammer, although it was his first felony. She hoped he learned something this time, but she was doubtful.

Marisa used her key to enter the thankfully air-conditioned house. Immediately, her mood lightened somewhat in the home’s cozy atmosphere. Overstuffed sofa and chair. Her dad’s worn leather recliner that bore the imprint of his behind from long years of use. And the smell…ah! The air was permeated with the scent of spicy browned beef and tomatoes and fresh baked bread. It was Monday; so, it must be Vaca Vieja, or shredded beef, her father’s favorite, which would be served over rice with a fresh salad. No bagged salads here. No store bought bread.

Izzie was asleep on the couch where she’d been watching cartoons on the television that had been turned to a low volume. The pretty, soft, pink and lavender afghan her grandmother had knitted covered her from shoulders to bare feet, but even so, her thin frame was apparent. There were dark smudges beneath her eyes. Even so, she was cute as a button with her ski-jump nose and rosebud mouth, thanks to her father. But then, she’d inherited a Latin complexion, dark dancing eyes, and a frame that promised to be tall from Marisa, who was no slouch in the good looks department, if she did say so herself. No doubt about it, Izzie was destined to be a beauty when she grew up. If she ever did.

Marisa put her bag on the coffee table and leaned down to kiss the black curls that capped her little girl’s head. She and her daughter shared the same coal black hair, but Marisa’s was thick and straight as a pin. At one time, Izzie had sported a wild mass of dark corkscrew curls, all of which had been lost in her first bout of radiation. A wasted effort, the radiation had turned out. To everyone’s surprise, especially Izzie, the shorter hairdo suited her better.

With a deep sigh, Marisa entered the kitchen.

Her mother was standing at the counter washing lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and radishes that she must have just picked from the small garden in the back yard. She wore her standard daytime “uniform.” A blouse tucked into stretchy waist slacks, and curlers on her head. Soon she would shower and change to a dress and medium pumps, her black hair all fluffed out, lipstick and a little makeup applied, to greet Daddy when he got home. It was a ritual she had followed every single day since her marriage thirty-two years ago. Just as she maintained her trim, attractive figure at fifty-nine. To please Daddy, as much as herself.

As for her father…even with the little paunch he’d put on a few years back and a receding hairline, when he walked into the house wearing his plumbing coveralls, Marisa’s mother had been known to sigh and murmur, “Men in uniform!”

Marisa’s mother must have sensed her presence because she turned abruptly. At first glance, she gasped and put a hand to her heart. No hiding anything from a mother.

“Oh, Marisa, honey!” her mother said. Making the sign of the cross, she sat down at the kitchen table and motioned for Marisa to sit, too.

First-generation Cuban-Americans, they’d named their first-born child Estefan Lopez. He became known as Steve. Marisa Angelica, who came five years later…a “miracle baby” for the couple who’d been told there would be no more children…was named after Grandma Lopez “back home,” and Aunt Angelica who was a nun serving some special order in the Philippines.

“Tell me,” her mother insisted.

“Doctor Stern says the tumor has grown, only slightly, in the past two months, but her brain and other tissue are increasing like any normal growing child and pressing against…” Tears welled in her eyes, despite her best efforts, and she took several of the tissues her mother handed her. “Oh, Mom! He says, without that experimental surgery, she only has a year to live. And even with the surgery, it might not work.”

Izzie’s only hope, and it was a slim one at best, was some new procedure being tried in Switzerland. Because it was experimental and in a foreign country, insurance would not cover the expense. Marisa had managed to raise an amazing hundred thousand dollars through various charitable endeavors, but she still needed another seventy thousand dollars. That seventy thou might just as well be a hundred million, considering Marisa’s empty bank account, as well as her parents, who’d second-mortgaged their house when Steve got into so much trouble.

She and her mother both bawled then. What else could they do? Well, her mother had ideas, of course.

Her mother stood and poured them both cups of her special brewed coffee from an old metal coffee pot on the stove. No fancy pancy (her mother’s words) Keurig or other modern devices for the old-fashioned lady. They both put one packet of diet sugar and a dollop of milk in their cups before taking the first sip.

“First off, we will pray,” her mother declared. “And we will ask Angelica to pray for Izzie, too.”

“Mom! With the hurricane that hit the Philippines last year, Aunt Angelica has way too much on her prayer schedule.”

“Tsk-tsk!” Her mother said. “A nun always has time for more prayers. And I will ask my Rosary, Altar Society ladies to start a novena. A miracle, that is what we need.”

Marisa rolled her eyes before she could catch herself.

Her mother wagged a forefinger at her. “Nothing is impossible with prayer.”

It couldn’t hurt, Marisa supposed, although she was beginning to lose faith, despite being raised in a strict Catholic household. Hah! Look how much good that moral upbringing had done Steve.

That wasn’t fair, she immediately chastised herself. Steve brought on his problems, and was not the issue today. Izzie was. Besides, who was she to talk. Having a baby without marriage. “Okay, Mom, we’ll pray,” she conceded. If I still can.

She let the peaceful ambiance of the kitchen fill her then. To Cubans, the kitchen was the heart of the home, and this little portion of the fifty-year-old ranch style house was indeed that. The oak kitchen cabinets were original to the house, but the way her mother cleaned, they gleamed with a golden patina, like new. Curtains with embroidered roses framed the double-window over the sink. In the middle of the room was an old aluminum table that could seat six, in the center of which was a single red rose in a slim crystal vase, the sentimental weekly gift from her father to her mother. The red leather on the chair seats had been reupholstered twice now by her father’s hands in his tool room in the basement. A Tiffany-style fruited lamp hung over the table.

A shuffling sound alerted them to Izzie coming toward the kitchen. Trailing the afghan in one hand and her favorite stuffed animal, a ratty, floppy eared rabbit named Lucky in the other, she didn’t notice at first that her mother was home.

Marisa stood. “Well, if it isn’t Sleeping Beauty?”

“Mommy!” Dropping the afghan and Lucky, she raced into Marisa’s open arms. Marisa twirled Izzie around in her arms until they were both dizzy. She dropped down to the chair again, with Izzie on her lap, both of them laughing. “Dizzy Izzie!” her daughter squealed, like she always did.

“For you, Isobella.” Her mother placed before Izzie a plastic Barbie plate of chocolate-sprinkled sugar cookies and a matching teacup of chocolate milk. Her mother would have already crushed some of the hated pills into the milk.

“I’m not hungry, Nana,” Izzie whined, burying her face against Marisa’s chest.

“You have to eat something, honey. At least drink the milk,” Marisa coaxed.

After a good half hour of bribing, teasing, singing, and game playing, she and her mother got Izzie to eat two of the cookies and drink all of the milk.

“What did the doctor say?” Izzie asked suddenly.

Uh-oh! Izzie knew that Marisa had gone to the medical center to discuss her latest test results. “Doctor Stern said you are growing like a weed. No, he said you are growing faster than Jack and the Beanstalk’s magic beans.” At least that was true. She was growing, despite her loss of weight.

Izzie giggled. “I’m a big girl now.”

“Yes, you are, sweetie,” Marisa said, hugging her little girl warmly.

Somehow, someway, I am going to get the money for Izzie, Marisa vowed silently. It might take one of my mother’s miracles, but I am not going to let my precious little girl die. But how? That is the question.

The answer came to her that evening when she was at La Cucaracha, the Salsa bar where she worked a second job as a waitress and occasional bartender. Well, a possible answer.

“A porno convention?” she exclaimed, at first disbelieving that her best friend Inga Johanssen would make such a suggestion.

“More than that. The first ever International Conference on Freedom of Expression,” Inga told her.

“Bull!” Marisa opined.

They were in a back room of the restaurant, talking a break. They wore the one-shouldered, knee-length, black Salsa dresses with ragged hems, La Cucharacha’s uniform for women (the men wore slim black pants and white shirts). They were both roughly five foot eight, but otherwise completely different. Where Marisa was dark and olive skinned, Inga was blond and Nordic. Where Marisa’s figure was what might be called voluptuous, Inga’s was slim and boylike, except for the boobs she bought last year. The garments they wore were not meant to be revealing but to accommodate the restaurant’s grueling heat due to the energetic dancing. They needed a break occasionally just to cool off.

Inga waved a newspaper article at her and read aloud , “All the movers and shakers in the Freedom of Expression industry will be there. Multi-billion dollar investors, movie producers, Internet gurus, actors and actresses, store owners, franchisees—”

“Franchisees of what?” Marisa interrupted. “Smut?”

Inga made a tsking sound and continued, “—sex toy manufacturers, instructors on DIY home videos—”

“What’s DIY?” Marisa interrupted again.

“Do It Yourself.”

“Oh, good Lord!”

“Martin Vanderfelt—”

“A made-up name if I ever heard one.”

“Please, Marisa, give me a chance.”

Marisa made a motion of zipping her lips.

“Martin Vanderfelt, the conference organizer, told the Daily Buzz reporter, “Our aim is to remove the sleaze factor from pornography and gain recognition as a legitimate professional enterprise serving the public. Freedom of Expresson. FOE.”

Marisa rolled her eyes but said nothing.

“This is the best part. It’s being held for one week on a tropical island off the Florida Keys. Grand Keys, a plush special events convention center, offers all the amenities of a four-star hotel, including indoor and outdoor pools, snorkeling and boating services, beauty salons and health spas, numerous restaurants with world class cuisines, nightclubs, tennis courts—”

“I’d like to see some of those over-endowed porno queens bouncing around on a tennis court,” Marisa had to interject.

Inga smiled.

“I thought they always held the pornography thing every year in Las Vegas.”

“The Expo is held there, but that’s more for public show. They have booths and stuff and even an awards show like the Oscars. This is more for industry insiders.”

“Inside, all right,” she said with lame humor.

“So cynical! Becky Bliss will be there. You know who she is, don’t you?”

Even Marisa knew Becky Bliss. She was the porno princess famous for being able to twerk while on top, having sex. “Are you suggesting we might learn how to do that?”

“It wouldn’t hurt. Maybe it would enhance your non-existent sex life.”

“Not like that!”

“Okay. Besides, Lance Rocket will be there, too.”

Marisa had no idea who Lance Rocket was, but she could guess.

“Anyhow, this conference isn’t for your everyday Joe, the porn aficionado. It costs five thousand dollars to attend. The only access to the island is by water. You can’t drive there, of course. They expect to see lots of yachts and seaplanes.”

Marisa was vaguely aware of the private islands comprising the Florida Keys. An unbelievable seventeen hundred islands, some inhabited, others little more than mangrove and limestone masses. The islands lie along the Florida Straits dividing the Atlantic Ocean from the Gulf of Mexico.

“Okay, I give up. Why would you or I even consider something like this? Oh, my God! You’re not suggesting I make porno films to raise money for Izzie, are you?”

“Of course not. Look. This article says they’re looking to hire employees for up to two weeks at above scale wages, all expenses paid, including transportation. Everything from waiters and waitresses to beauticians to diving instructors…even a doctor and nurse. Waiters and waitresses can expect to earn at least ten thousand dollars, and that doesn’t include tips, which could add another twenty K or more. Upper scale professions, much more.”

“Why would a hotel have to hire so many employees for just one event? Wouldn’t they have a staff in place.”

“The company that owns the island went bankrupt last year, and the property is in foreclosure. In the meantime, until it is sold, the bank rents it out at an exorbitant amount. You know how abandoned properties deteriorate or get vandalized. Plus, the bank probably hopes one of the wealthy dudes or dudettes who attend this thing might fall in love with the place.”

“You know an awful lot about Grand Keys Island.”

Inga shrugged. “I checked it out on the Internet. Hey, here’s an idea. You could even work as a massage therapist. Betcha lots of these porno stars need to work out the kinks. The big ones would leave hundred dollar tips.” She grinned impishly at Marisa.

Marisa couldn’t be offended at Inga’s teasing her about the popular misconception of professional masseurs and masseuses. “Kinks…that about says it all. Pfff! Can you imagine what they would expect of a massage therapist at one of these events?” She lowered her voice to a deep baritone and added, ‘My shoulders are really tight, honey, and while you’re at it, check out down yonder.’”

Inga laughed. “I’m just saying. If you worked as many hours there, let’s say double shifting between waitressing and therapy, you might very well earn close to thirty thousand dollars. In less than two weeks! When opportunity comes down the street, honey, jump on the bus.”

“You say opportunity, I say bad idea. Honestly, Inga, I can’t see us doing something like this.”

“Why not? We don’t have to like all the people that come to the Salsa bar, but we still serve them food and drinks.”

“I don’t know,” Marisa said.

“There’s something else to consider.”

“If you’re going to suggest that I might find a sugar daddy to pay for Izzie’s operation, forget about it.” But don’t think that idea hasn’t occurred to me.

“No, but there will be lots of Internet types there. Maybe you could find someone with the technical ability to set up a website for Izzie to raise funds.”

“I already tried that, but every company I contacted said it has been overdone. There’s no profit for them.”

“Maybe you’ve made the wrong contacts. Maybe if you met someone one on one…I don’t know, Marisa, isn’t it worth a try?” Inga was serious now.

“I’ll think about it,” Marisa said, to her own surprise.

“Applications and interviews for employment are being held at the Purple Palm Hotel in Key West next Friday,” Inga pointed out. “Don’t think too long.”

“Don’t push.”

They heard the Salsa band break out in a lively instrumental with a rich Latin American beat. A prelude to the beginning of another set of dance music.

As they headed back to work, Inga said, “I’ll drive.”

About the Author: sh

Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories.

She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons.

https://www.sandrahill.net/

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Of Sentimental Value by Fumi Hancock

 

Of Sentimental Value Banner 851 x 315

Genre: Mystery / Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Princess in Suburbia

Date of Publication: July 17, 2014

ISBN-10: 0990584801

ISBN-13: 978-0990584803

ASIN: B00LX2GK8K

Number of pages: 328

Word Count: 68, 183

Cover Artist: Phatpuppy Arts Studios

Book Description: sv

One event Elects Who You Are

One event  Molds Your Values and Beliefs;

One event  Charts the Course of Your Journey… Good, Bad or Indifferent;

One event Determines Your Destiny… For Life

One event  Will Change Your Life… Forever

Bestselling Author, Indiefest and African Oscar Award Winning Filmmaker, Host of an African Oscar nominated TV Talk show, An African Heritage Leadership Award recipient and a globally sought after transformation interventionist, Princess  Fumi Hancock  delivers an inspirational and intriguing romantic suspense story, yet laced in mystery and comedy. Of Sentimental Value, a titillating and jaw dropping adventure set between the deep rich forest of Africa and the southern flat plains of Nashville, Tennessee.

A Twenty-one year old, Young African Immigrant, SIBERIA TONKA has all the ingredients of a successful writer: Commitment, dedication, and drive to become famous. Until her dream of becoming the next bestselling media sensation in America is threatened by an inexplicable cosmic force! Buried and spiraling in unsurmountable debt and a string of misfortune hovering over her, she is forced to pawn her most valuable possession. But when told her sister’s life in Africa hangs in the balance and that would die if artifact is not returned back to the rightful owners, Siberia in desperation sets out to retrieve the artifact at any means necessary. A Mystery enigma is released and the stakes are high! The harder Siberia tries… the closer she seems yet the farther she was from solving the turmoil.

Alas, in the midst of this chaos evolves an undeniably love triangle between Siberia, a wealthy rugged-looking African, but Nashville-based, art collector (Alan) and a simple American consignment store owner (Jake).

Will Siberia retrieve the artifact in time to save her dying sister, Naiya? Who / what wins her heart? Money or True Love?

Book Available at Amazon

Book Trailer Produced by Cambium Break Pictures

http://youtu.be/6Nfpf3S_aGE

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Of Sentimental Value Motion Picture Release 2015

Starring Malik Yoba, New York Undercover and Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married? and Tommy Tiny Lister, Deebo on Friday, 5th Element with Bruce Willis.

VIP Screenings and Private Book Launches in Los Angeles, California and Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville

Award Winning Filmmaker Princess Fumi Hancock shares clip of SOLD OUT ” Live” Nashville TN Red Carpet Event: http://youtu.be/s0LlaKZyI7Y

Video Reviews

Miss Haiti International, Régine Pierre Shares Her Review of, Of Sentimental Value: http://youtu.be/21hlsgE81lQ

Los Angeles

Of Sentimental Value VIP Movie Screening and Book Launch Raving Reviews Bring Producer to Tears! http://youtu.be/4VwnYXNAoHI

LA welcomes Red Carpet Screening of Award Winner, Of Sentimental Value

http://youtu.be/D4HlAjuwJEE

The Video Reviews

Award Winning Filmmaker, Princess Fumi Hancock Shares a “Kairos Moment” with Host, Lola Ogunleye Reviewing Of Sentimental Value http://youtu.be/417hPzsQ4C4

Gift Items Available at:

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Excerpt: Murky Haze

Spiraling through the murky haze is a stream of white smoke; Africa’s humid and gloomy weather punctuated the striking of an African “bata” drum; a sign of impending doom in this Never-never land called Oyo, set majestically in the flat plain fields of West Africa.

Wrapped in ruffled white sheets and face painted with pungent white chalk, distinct tribal marks from Oyo; she chuckles and giggles out loud, sometimes overpowering the African “bata” beats rippling the air. This enigma of a mystery woman’s deep tones carries with it an air of danger and magic. Her fiendish chuckles are exaggerated by her threatening mannerisms. She adds to the mystery in the air by thrusting out her spectacularly painted arms, holding a uniquely designed African clay pot filled with bubbling steaming water. The steam spiraling out of the magical pot is hypnotic. She begins to laugh again as the rhythmic African beat gently fades, instantly replaced by an urgent tick-tock sound, intensifying the anxiety. Seeing my clandestine woman’s animated and daunting striking face, Yemoji becomes boisterous as she squints her overpowering eyes; eyeballs fiercely protruding, eliciting intense fear in those who behold the strange sight.

As the tick-tock sound gets louder, Yemoji abruptly clutches her magical pot to her bosom. Her arms stretch out with purpose, displaying her remarkably long claw-like nails. She beckons me closer. Yemoji welcomes hushes me into undeniably captivating presence, placing one finger to her sultry lips.

“Sshh! Sshh!”

Suddenly, the tick-tock sound intensifies yet again as Yemoji’s thunderous and wickedly cold laughter reverberates into the atmosphere.

“Did you hear me? I said…. Sshh! Sshh! Siberia! Si-be-ria!”

 

My Writing Journey… By Bestselling Author: Princess Fumi Hancock

I began writing poetry my family just enjoyed reading. After few years and with people constantly telling me I was meant for this, I decided to take it seriously and began writing inspirational books for women. The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell: Hydra’s Nest is my very first Young Adult. I am so humbled by the experience and relishing every aspect of it.

Many have asked me what my inspiration for Of Sentimental Value is? I was born in Africa but have lived in the United States of America for over 30 years. A little over six years ago, my father called me up and told me it was time to return home. I’d literally grown up in the US and this was home to me. Though father lived in the US too, he felt it was time to give back to Africa. This was an important trip for me as I’d not been back for over 23 years!  The trip was equally important because one of my cousins was being crowned a king in one of the provinces and my father felt it was a great opportunity to reconnect with my roots. The journey was exhilarating yet filled with anxiety, as I did not know what I was going to encounter.  I trusted my father, packed my bags and went back to West Africa with my family. It was the most incredible journey of my life… to witness a King’s coronation… no words could describe the feelings. What was more important was the surprise, which awaited me! The community people rallied around me and reminded me of who I was… their princess who had been gone for long and was now back! I took the time to revisit my childhood boarding school and low and behold, all of my experiences at the school came rushing back. The characters that readers will encounter in my first YA book, the Adventures of Jewel Cardwell as well as my newly released novel, Of Sentimental Value are a culmination of my childhood friends as well as “the conjured friends in my head.” These characters have consistently plagued my dream and haunted my mind into bringing them alive. Every year I would return to Africa (with my American Friends) serving the children in the communities through my non-profit organization the Adassa Foundation, I am reminded of the colorful ambiance and the need to share this part of the world with book lovers. As I began to paint this African adventure on paper, my sons, 17 and 15 ( now 24 and 22) nudged me with their support and their instant enjoyment of the plot.  Every time I would complete a chapter, they wanted more. They wanted to see what would happen to the characters. More importantly, they were intrigued by the description of the African setting, the culture of the people revealed through the different characters and the blended families relayed by the characters. Different characters elicited different emotions as they read alongside other young adults reviewing the story.

Alright another question I have been asked by my one of my readers: Tell us your favorite scene in your book.

First my answer to that is that as a writer, you love your characters… period. Just like a mother, you really don’t love one over the other, at least, I don’t. Likewise with Of Sentimental Value, I lived and breathed every chapter for well over a year and have become very fun of them all. It was fun unveiling the mystery woman and her vendetta against Siberia.

And throwing this in as a bonus to my readers… and other authors like myself who have asked where I usually harness my story ideas: Friends and family members have often described me as being colorful in my description of events. I love going places where most have never been; bringing great and new adventure to my readers. In Of Sentimental Value, I want my readers to be transported from the western world, USA, to Africa, a place where they’d never been before. I want them to see how other people live in other parts of the world… I want them to also see how people like them, who have travelled to live in Africa… how they adjust to the culture and setting. My trips back and forth from Africa have convinced me that there are extraordinary stories there… stories which could potentially be back drops to my fiction novels.

Finally, I have totally loved writing this book and look forward to the feature film releasing in 2015. In the meantime, I urge your readers to take advantage of my current virtual publicity tour: Current Giveaways and Book Tour Stops:

Princess Fumi Hancock’s Book tour continues (Oct. 20 – Dec. 22nd, 2014). For detailed information, please check out: www.ofsentimentalvaluenovel.com

About Her New Book:

Watch the Trailer: http://www.ofsentimentalvaluenovel.com/ – !ofsentimentalvaluetrailer/c66t

Purchase, Tags & Post Your Reviews: Click here to sample or buy (US): Amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Sentimental-Value-Fumi-Hancock-ebook/dp/B00LX2GK8K Click here to sample of buy: (UK): Amazon.com

Authors Links Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/fumihancockgrimmlyn Twitter: https://twitter.com/fumihancock Blog: http://fumihancock.blogspot.com/ Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/fumihancock Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/fumihancock

Author’s Websites: Speaking Engagement: www.letsgoinnovatenow.com TV Show: www.princessinsuburbia.com Novels: www.ofsentimentalvaluenovel.com Movies: www.ofsentimentalvaluemovie.com My Official Webpage: www.worldoffumihancock.com
http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sentimental-Value-Fumi-Hancock-ebook/dp/B00LX2GK8K/r

Amazon Website: http://www.amazon.com/Fumi-Hancock/e/B009BHBI6S/

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20 Electronic autographed posters of the movie.

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Wisdom Nugget from Siberia Tonka:

“A person who sows love reaps a harvest of good friends and family. It doesn’t really matter where we come from; we all have something of sentimental value. And this crazy chain of events has led me to my destiny….it has led me to fight for the people I love” ~Siberia

About the Author pf

Princess Fumi

Stephanie Hancock Ph.D.:

Bestselling Author,  NAFCA African Oscar People’s Choice Winner, Indiefest Films Merit Award Filmmaker, TV Host, Transformation Interventionist and Philanthropist are just a few accolades to describe this dynamic woman.

Born in the heart of Nigeria, Lagos State; Princess Fumi Hancock was raised to appreciate her royal roots from the South Western region of Nigeria, Emure Kingdom, where her family, the Adumori Nigeria Royal Household have ruled since the 1800s’.

After acquiring her first degree in English from one of the most prestigious colleges in Nigeria, Obafemi Awolowo University; she stormed the United States of America with a pen, a script and the dream to change the world. Little did she know that it would take her over thirty years to finally fulfill her dream of becoming a prolific writer and most importantly, one who would have the ability to translate her literary works into movies.

As an author, she has written several inspirational books for women, Beyond Idol Worship: A Diary of an African Warrior Princess; Starting Right Now to name a few! After writing these inspirational books and her return back to African after over 25 years absentia; she reaches out to help her community through her US based nonprofit organization, Adassa Adumori Foundation, Inc. (www.adassafoundation.org); she also decided to venture into the world of young adult fantasy. To her surprise, her very first young adult fantasy, The Adventures of Jewel Cardwell:  Hydra’s Nest became an amazon bestseller! There has been no stopping her since then.

Her new novel, Of Sentimental Value, a mystery and suspense drama is yet another landmark for her. The book was made into a feature film which is scheduled for release soon (www.ofsentimentalvaluemovie.com ). In the advent of its release, it has garnered multiple award interest. It was nominated in the NAFCA African Oscar Peoples’ Choice category for Favorite Trailer and Original Score while the Princess took home the winning trophy as Favorite Screenwriter.  Since then, the movie itself has been nominated in the following categories: Best Diaspora Drama and Best Make-up. One of our supporting actors, Malik Yoba was also nominated as Actor in Foreign Film category.

Princess Fumi is one who truly believes that dreams do come true if we keep plugging away at it and never give up! Her very first crack at writing, she will never forget her professor at a college in New York telling her, “you need to quit! You are a horrible writer!” “I was devastated,” she said. But did not allow that to keep her down. With time, even the professor finally announced to the post graduate class that she was the best student he’d ever had. That screenplay, “The Royal Bird” ended up winning Best Screenplay of the year in 1988 in a New York festival. It was later auctioned to one of the largest television stations in Africa, Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).  The rest of her time today is spent presenting her new empowerment program, Your Vision Torch, an Innovator’s Prescription to Igniting Your Dreams and Harnessing Your Vision to leaders, business owners and women across Africa and the United States of America.  More details on how to bring her to your event: www.worldoffumihancock.com

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